Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) announced that the company is testing a new paywall in its Groups, creating optional subscription fees if members of the Group want to access exclusive content.
The social media site is testing the option, which allows Group admins charge anywhere from $4.99 to $29.99 per month for access to special sub-Groups full of exclusive posts. The first areas of the network that will have the subscription option include a hand-picked list of parenting, cooking and “organize my home” Groups.
Throughout the testing phase, Facebook said that it will not be taking a cut of the revenue. Nevertheless, the feature is billed through iOS and Android, which means that those operating systems will get their 30% cut of a user’s first year of subscription and 15% after that.
Don’t be surprised if Facebook eventually started asking for a revenue share if the test is successful in order to monetize the Groups feature that has now amassed more than 1 billion users. The idea to add subscription fees came from the Groups’ admins.
“It’s not so much about making money as it is investing in their community,” says Facebook Groups product manager Alex Deve. “The fact that there will be funds coming out of the activity helps them create higher-quality content.”
Some admins told Facebook they want to reinvest subscription dues back into activities their Group does together offline.
FB stock is up about 0.1% Friday.